Noah Avery has a way of making us look deep into ourselves. The Las Vegas based multi-instrumentalist producer writes intensely personal music. However, through his own introspection he reaches a human space that is universally relatable. Life has dealt Noah plenty of reason to contemplate its meaning and his place in it. His previous albums A Lone Image and The Unnamed Road have each appeared on The Static Dive. On those records he shared with us different aspects of his ongoing battle with terminal cancer.
This hellish year of unprecedented worldwide pestilence and strife has turned us all inward. We have locked down, quarantined and socially distanced ourselves into 7 billion instances of self-examination and retreat. With daily headlines torn from the pages of Revelation, we can’t help but reexamine how we fit into all of this. And given our untenable reality, we escape into the fantasy of the digital world.
On his latest album, “The Digital Life” Avery turns his analytical lens around to face us all. The fifteen track record digs through the dirt of our collective cultural psyche and its manifestation in the Internet era. Noah is looking back at us through that black mirror and asking, “what have you found?”
Listening to a Noah Avery album is like reading a book. As with his previous releases, “The Digital Life” is intended to be experienced in its entirety. This is not a collection of singles. In concept, composition and production the record moves seamlessly from song to song. The different tracks signify gradual changes in theme and style. His focus shifts back and forth from society as a whole (“The Digital Life,” “Left Behind”) to anecdotal individual stories of others in the digital world (“Star,” “My Other”).
The artist himself is not exempt from examination. In some ways, this record digs even deeper into Noah’s own narrative than his previous work. Tracks like “Ceaseless Peace” and “Scared Space” are lyrically poetic and aurally experimental meditations on life, death and eternity. However, 2020 has brought us all a lot closer to our own explorations of these topics. Our collective reality connects us intimately to Noah’s.
Musically, on “The Digital Life” Noah juggles genres around to suit his purpose. And it is a lot of fun to listen to. As the record moves through its lyrical themes, the musical landscape rises and falls to meet it. Funk grooves dissolve into ambient moods. Pop rhythms morph into avant-garde ambient experiments. Tracks like “Waste Today, P1. 1” and “Speak Softly” feature Peter Gabriel-esque rhythmic alchemy. Funky excursions like “Up and Down” land somewhere between Prince, James Brown and Mark Mothersbaugh.
There is even a little bit of 80’s Pop represented on the track “Left Behind,” however that soon transitions into a bit of synth-fueled psychedlia a-la Roger Waters. Interestingly, on an album focused on the digital world, Noah often chooses analog sounds to tell the story. The album is full of electric piano, retro-synths and natural drum sounds. It is a cool juxtaposition. The arrangement also lends itself to some far out Miles Davis-style Fusion Jazz jams (“Running from the Devil,” “Waste Today, Pt. 2.”
“The Digital Life” is another brilliant entry into the catalog of an artist who pours his soul and his mind into his music. Noah Avery is seeking answers. He asks questions which are so universally confounding that we can’t help but follow him as he searches. Fortunately for us, this journey comes equipped with one cool-ass soundtrack.
Noah’s track “Up and Down” is featured on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Follow the links below to connect with the artist. Stay in the know on all of his current and future projects.